Article Index – Tap the links for more information about these shrimp
1. Cherry Shrimp – They grow to not more than 1.5 inches and are pretty easy to keep and breed. They also come in various colors that range from the most intense red to terrific blues and greens. Finally, they are readily available and can be purchased quite easily.
2. Ghost Shrimp – Caring for these shrimp is relatively straightforward. As the name suggests, they are ghost-like and have almost transparent bodies.
3. Panda Shrimp – Panda Shrimp are not readily available to buy. Until recently, they were costly. It is a shrimp covered in black and white stripes with a certain degree of transparency to them.
4. Blue Bolt Shrimp – It lives up to its name in every sense and is spectacularly eye-catching thanks to its brilliant blue coloration. It can be hard to find, but it is worth going the extra mile to procure them.
5. Amano Shrimp – Unlike the other shrimp on this list, Amano shrimp can grow as big as 2.5 inches in length. That is huge for a nano aquarium, but if you want something substantial in your tank, this might be the way to go.
6. Blue Tiger Shrimp – There is just something about the color blue that makes it so alluring. Blue Tiger Shrimp can be difficult to find. It has an attractive blue coloration with black stripes.
7. Babaulti Shrimp – If you want to keep a shrimp that is easy to care for but do not want one of the other choices, then this is the shrimp for you. Babaulti Shrimp come in various colors like red, yellow, brown, and green. All of them are striking.
8. Snowball Shrimp – This one is for all the connoisseurs of white. They look surreal and what is even more interesting is that care of Snowball shrimp is easy.
9. Cardinal Shrimp – Cardinal Shrimp are the most stunning freshwater shrimp you can get for your nano tank. They are so beautiful that any tank containing this would be doubted for a saltwater setup. The deep red, almost maroon coloration with blue and white spots is just stunning.
More information about keeping aquariums in your home can be found in this article found on Redfin.com which opens in a new window.
Panda Cory’s would be an excellent addition to a shrimp based tanks. You can read about them on my site Here.
Popular Freshwater Aquarium Shrimp Species
|Species||Tap pics to view|
|1. Cherry Shrimp||Easy+ – Seasoned beginner|
|2. Ghost Shrimp||Easy – Beginner|
|3. Panda Shrimp||Difficult – Expert|
|4. Blue Bolt Shrimp||Very Difficult – Shrimp Expert Only|
|5. Amano Shrimp||Easy – Beginner|
|6. Blue Tiger Shrimp||Medium – Seasoned Aquarist|
|7. Babaulti Shrimp||Easy – Beginner|
|8. Snowball Shrimp||Easy – Beginner|
|9. Cardinal Shrimp||Difficult – Expert|
Freshwater shrimp are a big part of what makes freshwater fishkeeping so exciting. These are animals we probably wouldn’t even know existed unless we were into fishkeeping.
Another significant aspect of freshwater shrimp is that they are small enough for a nano tank.
Here, I will take a look at ten freshwater shrimp for a nano tank. I will also cover everything you need to know about freshwater shrimp and the challenges associated with keeping each type.
1. Cherry Shrimp
Description: Cherry Shrimp are the industry standard. They are one of the most common types of freshwater shrimp, and they are perfect for a nano tank.
They grow to not more than 1.5 inches and are easy to keep and breed.
They also come in various colors that range from the most intense red to stunning blues and greens. Finally, they are readily available and can be purchased quite easily.
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You can use the photos on this page if desired. If you do so, please provide a link and atribution back to my page: Planted Aquarium Expert: Shrimp
Best (not the cheapest but the least expensive best shrimp) shrimp buy I could find on Ebay: 5+1 Fire Red & 5+1 Dream Blue Shrimp $29.99 w/ free shrimping…I mean shipping.
Care and feeding: As we mentioned, they are hardy and will tolerate a wide range of temperatures and water parameters. However, they need to be given a stable environment to really thrive and breed well. They do show their best coloration within a specific range of conditions, as mentioned below.
Feeding: As far as feeding goes, these shrimp are hassle-free. Cherry Shrimp will feed on biofilm and algae that naturally form inside the aquarium. You can supplement their diet with commercially prepared shrimp food or blanched carrots and zucchini.
Water conditions: Cherry shrimp require water temperature between 77º F and 81º F or 25º C and 27º C. The pH should be between 6.2 and 7.3. Ammonia and nitrites should be kept to 0 ppm, while nitrates should be less than 20 ppm.
Ease of keeping: Easy to intermediate
Another article I wrote.
Tons of pictures.
Illustrated – The 20 Best Freshwater Aquarium Fish For Beginners
Gold Nugget Plecostomus (2016) by Stan Bysshe. Original from Smithsonian’s National Zoo.
2. Ghost Shrimp
Description: Ghost Shrimp might be the easiest freshwater shrimp to keep. As the name suggests, they are ghost-like and have an almost transparent bodies. They also do a great job as cleaners and can be added to community tanks with suitable tankmates. They are very cheap and can be used to familiarize yourself with keeping shrimp.
Care and feeding: Caring for this shrimp is effortless. The only time it is vulnerable is when it is born. Unlike other shrimp, it has a larval stage at which it has few chances of surviving in a tank with other fish. Once they reach adulthood, care is straightforward. They are pretty resilient and will eat any leftover food and detritus. If it is a shrimp-only aquarium, then you can offer them any number of sinking food.
Water conditions: As I alluded to before, this shrimp is not very fussy when it comes to water conditions. It can tolerate temperatures between 70ºF and 80ºF or 21º and 26.5ºC. Ghost Shrimp require slightly alkaline water with a pH between 7.0 and 7.8. As long as conditions do not fluctuate rapidly, ghost shrimp can adapt to values somewhat less or more than these numbers.
Ease of keeping: Easy
3. Panda Shrimp
Description: This one is for those who want something a bit different and exclusive. It is not that readily available and until recently was very expensive. It is a shrimp covered in black and white stripes with a certain degree of translucency to them.
Care and feeding: The Panda Shrimp is a result of years of selective breeding and that makes it a bit more fragile. They are very sensitive to changes in water parameters and the best way to avoid any complications on this front is by keeping them in a larger tank. They also do not breed very quickly which means that they can’t maintain a stable colony all on their own. It certainly is a challenging shrimp to keep, but that is the price of exclusivity. They eat biofilm and algae. Their diet can be supplemented with blanched vegetables.
Water conditions: This shrimp can tolerate low temperatures and does well as long as the temperature is maintained at a stable value between 62ºF and 75ºF or 16.5ºC and 24.5ºC. pH can be maintained between 6.0 and 7.5. As you can see, it can tolerate a wide range of values but the values at which the shrimp has been accustomed to should be maintained as any swing in the parameters even within this range can prove fatal. Ammonia and Nitrites should be totally absent while Nitrates should be kept south of 15 ppm.
Ease of keeping: Intermediate to hard.
4. Blue Bolt Shrimp
Description: If you want your nano aquarium to really pop then you cannot go wrong with the blue bolt. It lives up to its name in every sense and is spectacularly eye-catching thanks to its brilliant blue coloration. It can be hard to find but it is worth going the extra mile to procure them.
Care and feeding: This one too is a product of years of selective breeding and it too is a bit fragile. It requires the water conditions to be just right. Since this is a rare shrimp, it is best to keep them in a species only tank as they can interbreed with other shrimp and the colony can lose its striking physical attributes. Breeding them amongst themselves is difficult though. Feeding, however, is easy and they live on biofilm and algae and can be treated to blanched vegetable once in a while.
Water conditions: This shrimp also does not like changes. It can tolerate a wide range of parameters but once it is accustomed to a certain value, that value must be maintained fastidiously. Temperature can be between 65ºF and 75ºF or 18ºC and 24ºC. pH should be between 6.0 and 7.0 with acidic water being preferred. Water changes should be done regularly as this shrimp is very sensitive to ammonia, nitrites and nitrates.
Ease of keeping: Difficult to very difficult
5. Amano Shrimp
Description: Unlike the other shrimp on this list, Amano shrimp isn’t a dwarf shrimp and can grow as big as 2.5 inches in length. That is huge for a nano aquarium but if you want something substantial in your tank this might be the way to go. They are one of the most popular shrimps and one of the best algae eaters in the business. They look darn cute as well.
Care and feeding: This is one of the easiest to care for shrimp and if this is your first nano tank then these shrimp are a great option. They are hardy and can tolerate a wide range of conditions as long as they do not fluctuate much. They feed on algae than naturally forms in the aquarium. You can supplement that with algae wafers or pellets as well. The only downside is that they are almost impossible to breed as the larval stage requires brackish water.
Water conditions: They aren’t very fussy about water parameters as long as they do not vary wildly. Temperature can be between 65ºF and 85ºF or 18ºC and 29.5ºC. pH can be between 6.5 and 8.0. As they are larger shrimp, frequent water changes will be needed in a nano tank (Amazon Price Check) to avoid the build-up of waste matter.
Ease of keeping: Easy
6. Blue Tiger Shrimp
Description: There’s something about the color blue that makes it so alluring. It is also something that is challenging to come across in the freshwater hobby. However, The blue tiger shrimp fills that niche up nicely. It has a beautiful blue coloration with black stripes.
Care and feeding: This too is a shrimp that needs a bit of extra care. This shrimp is a bit different because it is omnivorous and requires a balanced diet of plant and animal matter. It is best to feed them commercially prepared shrimp food. It is also important not to overfeed them as any uneaten food can result in a change in water parameters which can be devastating.
Water conditions: The blue tiger shrimp requires very stable conditions. Temperature can be between 65ºF and 75ºF or 18ºC and 24ºC. pH should be between 6.0 and 7.5. The new owner of a shrimp nano tank should be cycled properly so that not even a whiff of ammonia or nitrites is present.
Ease of keeping: Difficult
7. Babaulti Shrimp
Description: If you want to keep a shrimp that is easy to care for but do not want one of the obvious choices then this is the shrimp for you. It comes in a variety of colors like red, yellow, brown, and green and all of them are pretty striking. It hasn’t attained the same level of popularity as some of the similarly easy to care for shrimp yet and that makes it a unique shrimp with minimum hassles.
Care and feeding: They are very easy to care for and can tolerate a wide range of conditions and are tolerant to some mild fluctuations in the nano tank as well. They are omnivorous in nature and should be fed a balanced diet. An important quality of Babaulti Shrimp is that they are vociferous feeders of decaying plant matter and are great for planted nano tanks.
Water conditions: Temperatures can be between 65ºF and 85ºF or 18ºC and 30ºC. pH can be between 6.5 and 7.8.
Ease of keeping: Easy
8. Snowball Shrimp
Description: This one is for all the connoisseurs of white. They look surreal and what is even more remarkable is that care is pretty effortless. A nano tank with a dark substrate perfectly suits them. They are easy to breed, which means that maintaining a stable population isn’t that big a deal.
Care and feeding: These shrimp are hardy and resilient and do not mind the odd fluctuations in water parameters. They are pretty accepting, a nature that extends to their feeding habits. They can survive on detritus, decaying plant matter, and algae.
Water conditions: They can tolerate a temperature range between 65ºF and 85ºF or 18ºC and 30ºC and a pH of between 6.2 and 7.8.
Ease of keeping: Easy
9. Cardinal Shrimp
Description: If you have scrolled down this list and still aren’t satisfied, then this is the shrimp meant just for you. It is the most stunning freshwater shrimp that you can get for your nano tank. It’s so beautiful that any tank containing this would be doubted for a saltwater setup. The deep red, almost maroon coloration with blue and white spots is just stunning. Something this special does come with its conditions. It is one of the most delicate freshwater shrimps and not something meant for beginners or intermediates.
Care and feeding: It requires pristine water conditions and precise attention to detail. Everything has to be just right. They should be kept in a species only tank with hard water. All the parameters must be highly stable, which can be challenging in a nano setup, making this shrimp variation unique.
Water conditions: Temperature should be between 77ºF and 86ºF or 25ºC and 30ºC. pH should be between 7.5 and 8.5.
Ease of keeping: Very difficult
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